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Jermain Defoe tells Alfredo Morelos not to think about transfer speculation

Rangers v St Joseph’s – UEFA Europa League – First Qualifying Round – Second Leg – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Jermain Defoe has urged Alfredo Morelos to let his football do the talking and leave the negotiations over his Rangers future to his agent.

Speculation continues to mount that the Colombian’s three-year Ibrox stay may be nearing an end amid interest from Lille.

Steven Gerrard has already moved to ensure his is not left short on firepower if the £20million-rated striker is lured away after Tuesday’s double swoop for Anderlecht’s Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten of St Gallen.

But Gerrard insists Morelos remains firmly part of his plans for now with Lille failing to follow up on an unsuccessful opening bid of around £13million.

The transfer rumours seem to have had an affect on the former HJK Helsinki player, who has scored just one goal in 2020.

Now Defoe, who has acted as a mentor to the 23-year-old since joining the club, has offered up some fresh advise.

He said: “I would just say to him, ‘Don’t even get involved.’ Literally. When you are young sometimes you can become anxious.

“Especially for him when he sees two new forwards have come into the football club. Just get your head down and play football. If I was Alfredo I wouldn’t even think about it.

“I would put my phone down and I wouldn’t even speak to my agent to be honest. I would just let them take care of whatever is happening, get my head down and play football.

“At the end of the day this is what we do. We play football and we let the football do the talking. That’s what people say and that’s the best way to approach any situation like this.”

Gerrard is reported to have spent around £8.5million securing Roofe and Itten but Defoe does not fear he is dropping down his former England colleague’s pecking order.

The ex-West Ham, Spurs and Portsmouth striker – who is expecting to return from a pre-season hamstring injury within the next week – said: “I’m excited by it. Throughout my career, I’ve always been excited by new players coming in. I want to see how good they are.

“Bringing players in is part and parcel of the game now especially if you want to achieve something special. I’m looking forward to seeing them both.

“If there are players with the potential to take your place then that is healthy. It’s tough for the manager, but at the same time it’s something that you need.”

While Defoe is excited by the arrival of the two newcomers, he was left cringing by his former Tottenham team-mate Jamie O’Hara, who made headlines this week when he suggested the vacant Bournemouth post was a bigger job than the Ibrox hotseat.

Defoe, who spent 18 months with the Cherries before making his move to Glasgow, said: “I know Jamie and he’s that sort of character and he’s not shy. When I saw it I laughed. I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking ‘Jamie, why say that?’

“It’s difficult for me because I played for Bournemouth, but let’s be honest, there’s no comparison. The size of this football club is massive with an unbelievable fan base. It’s laughable what he said.”